The Onyx Boox 60 is a solid, if pricey, eReader from a relative newcomer to the industry. The Onyx is one of a few eReaders with a WACOM touchscreen, so the touchscreen layer is below the e-ink screen (eliminating glare issues when the screen is above as in the infamous Sony PRS 700). The only downside is this means you generally need to use a stylus rather than your finger to use the touchscreen. It usually works fine, but some users have complained that the unit is a bit sluggish, sometimes links don't seem to work when you click on them with the stylus, etc. Likewise, users should understand that using the touchscreen will drain the battery much quicker than using buttons.
To that end, there is a directional pad which looks like a scroll wheel at the bottom of the Boox 60. On the upper left edge is a slot for the stylus and on the left edge is a switch to turn on WiFi. Volume, power switch, USB, headphone port, and SD card slot are located on the bottom edge. The eReader weighs a very hefty 10 ounces, one of the heavier eReaders for its 6 inch screen size.
The stylus lets you handwrite notes and sketch. This function works fast and well, refreshing just the few pixels that you draw almost instantaneously rather than doing the entire screen. However, you cannot currently export any annotations or notes, which is a drawback.
We like the fact that it has folder navigation, a welcome, growing trend among eReaders which is essential as ebook collections increase. You can view thumbnails (just title, not a book cover picture unfortunately), a list, or or details (title, last read, rating, and such). Other features include portrait or landscape orientation, margin autocrop, fixed and arbitrary zooming, hyperlinks and text searches as well as a built in dictionary. The Boox also has a built in comic viewer.
The Boox 60 has fair file support, with 13 formats which work. PDFs work particularly well, but you'll need to zoom in as a 8.5x11 PDF will be illegible on the 6 inch screen otherwise.
Onyx is based in China, but has marketed its eReaders in the US and UK. Onyx plans to release three new versions of the Boox including a 10" and a 8" within the first or second quarters of 2010. Onyx is also coming out with a 5" version with features closer to the popular Sony 600 and the Kindle to compete with them except with a lower price.
Connecting: The Onyx Boox 60 comes with a USB 2.0 cord for direct connection to a computer, as well as WiFi connectivity to connect to a local network.
The internet connectivity through WiFi is not perfect though, and us much more limited than the Kindle's basic browser. Here you are limited to Google and Wikipedia. That said, from Google you can visit just about anywhere on the web, though of course video will not work, etc.
Accessories: We're not aware of optional accessories for the Onyx Boox 60.
Price: The Boox costs $349--simply too much money to do well in the US market in our opinion.